Five Years

It has been almost six years since Rose started this blog. We were a year into our lives in Fort McMurray and getting ready to start the process of buying our first home with Nathaniel. We were a family of four and outgrowing our two bedroom apartment. Those eyes staring out at you from the top of this page had changed everything. In the last six years so much has changed in our lives and this blog has served as a window into our souls as we ride the roller coaster of life. I could never write as profoundly and beautifully as Rose does but she reminds me that we’re in this together so I will try.

Five years ago we said our final goodbyes to Milo. Five years. There are people that say time heals all wounds but I haven’t found it to be true. Not this one. Never have I known a period of time to feel like an eternity and a blink of the eye all at the same time. What I have found in the last five years is that losing a child doesn’t fade or become easier to bear. Not after a year, not after three, not after five. Instead it lurks in the shadows, always in the back of your mind, waiting for such a time to come crashing back to the forefront of your every thought. I can only imagine that this might be hard for some of you to understand and that’s ok. Let me try to explain at least one example of the daily struggle(and some days are easier than others). You know those milestones in life that you like to celebrate? The ones that bring you great joy and a euphoric high that you don’t think you’ll ever come down from? They’re hard. When you have other children that you’re watching grow into wonderful little humans there are plenty of moments that make you proud and it’s hard. Because the imagination can be terribly vicious.

I often find myself wondering what Milo would be doing, what he’d be accomplishing, and the impact he’d be having on other peoples lives. He touched people deeply in 14 months and I wonder what kind of boy he’d be at 6. I wonder what kind of trouble him and Jude would be finding to get into on the farm. Would he play the piano, what would his favourite farm animal be, what tv show would he beg to watch in the morning, what would he want to be when he grows up, what would his relationship be with his younger siblings, and the list goes on and on and on.

The last time we went back to Ontario with Milo it was the fall and we went to Appleland, a beautiful farm outside of London, that is meant as a place for families to pick apples and enjoy time together. We took so many pictures there and at the time we had no idea we’d buy a farm someday. It just seems fitting, I guess, that we have such an opportunity to build Barefoot Meadows to be a place that we can bless others and give them a place to build memories. Because sometimes memories are all that you have left.

Miss you Milo, until we meet again.

Milo

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7 Responses to Five Years

  1. Laurie Dunnett says:

    Thanks for sharing your heart

  2. Andrew & Rose,

    Your memories brought tears to my eyes. It’s a strange feeling reading your blog as a new father, one with many emotions including happiness and worry. After eight years of failing to conceive, Megan’s pregnancy brought me nothing but pessimism and worry. Tessa is now just shy of three months and I’ve (mostly) overcome the negativity and fear. In their place is a love and attachment that I have never felt before. Three months has had an unimaginable impact on my life. I could not imagine the anguish of having that taken away from me. Therein lies my difficulty fully appreciating your feelings — though I certainly understand the heart of it.

    Thank you both for your blog. I follow it and I learn from it. Thank you, also, for your love. The world is a better place because of your warmth and kindness.

    Thinking of Milo – and the Barley/Pickersgill families.

    Much love,

    Steve

    • Andrew Barley says:

      Thanks for the comment Stevo. I guess what I’ve learned is to try to find the joy in even the small moments. No matter how fresh and real the pain of loss is the memories and joy of the time we had cant be taken away.

  3. Della Manuel says:

    Your words are so true , no matter how much time passes the pain and loss is always there . In May it was 16 years since Courtney left us and not a day goes by that something does not bring him to the forefront of our thoughts .
    Thinking of you,
    Della & Jerry

    • Andrew Barley says:

      Wow, 16 years! It’s hard to believe it’s been that long. Thanks for the comment, it’s nice to know we’re not alone.

  4. Brenda Bell says:

    This is such an amazing tribute to a sweet babe that touched all of you and will be part of your lives forever. You are such a strong and beautiful family . I think this blog and your message are brilliant. I believe that when the natural order does not occur it is the most difficult of situations. It is wonderful of you to share with others as I know there are families out there that will benefit from sharing your journey. And perhaps you with theirs. Lots of love to you all Andrew!

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